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Past Speakers
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The National WWII Museum has been host to a variety of notable scholars, writers and historians. If you missed a lecture or just want to learn more about World War II, take a look at the Past Speakers Archive.

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Stephen Ambrose Retrospective
Sunday, November 8, 2009
These panels illuminate the life and works of Stephen E. Ambrose. Panelists include Hugh Ambrose, Dr. Guenter Bischof, Dr. Richard H. Immerman, Dr. Allan Millett, Dr. Gregory J. W. Urwin, and Museum President Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller.
Hugh Ambrose Hugh Ambrose
The Pacific
Monday, April 19, 2010
Author Hugh Ambrose, former vice-president of The National WWII Museum and current special consultant to the Museum, speaks about his book, The Pacific, and his work on the HBO miniseries of the same name.
Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson
Bringing Back the Dead: History, Memory and Writing About War
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of bestsellers An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle. These books are the first two volumes of Mr. Atkinson’s trilogy on the U.S. Army in World War II.
Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson
The Guns at Last Light
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author presents the long-awaited third and final book in his Liberation Triology.
Abe Baum Maj. Abe Baum
Raid! The Untold Story of Patton's Secret Mission
Thursday, September 30, 2010
In 1945, the late Maj. Baum led a mission deep into German territory to liberate a prison camp where Patton's son-in-law was being held.
Dr Hal Baumgarten Dr. Hal Baumgarten
D-Day Survivor: An Autobiography
Dr. Harold Baumgarten, a multi-decorated survivor, gives his eyewitness account of the first wave landing of the 116th Infantry on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Antony Beevor Antony Beevor
D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
Friday, October 16, 2009
Antony James Beevor is a renowned British historian, who studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for five years. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and 20th century in general.
Elizabeth Bettina Elizabeth Bettina
It Happened in Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Bettina expands on the subject matter of her book as she explores the untold stories of the Jewish population of Italy and the Italians that saved them from the Holocaust.
James Bradley James Bradley
The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War
Monday, December 7, 2009
In 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt sent the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in history to the Pacific and Asia. Exactly 100 years later, best-selling author James Bradley traveled in the wake of this mission and found hidden history in Honolulu, Tokyo, Manila, Beijing and Seoul.
Dr. Alan Brinkley Dr. Alan Brinkley
Cold War Battles: The Struggle for Policy
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Dr. Alan Brinkley is a Historian and Provost of Columbia University.
Tom Brokaw Tom Brokaw
Uncle Sam Wants You!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Former NBC Nightly News anchor and author of five bestselling books, including The Greatest Generation and Boom!, discusses the lasting legacy of the World War II Generation.
Raymond Callahan Dr. Raymond Callahan
Mason Lecture Series
What Churchill Left Out: Some Thoughts on Churchill, India and the Second World War
Saturday, September 10, 2011
As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, Winston Churchill expert Dr. Raymond Callahan speaks about the fascinating, influential historic figure.
Elliot Carlson Elliot Carlson
Mason Lecture Series
Joe Rochefort’s War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, hear author Elliot Carlson discuss the story of Joe Rochefort, a Navy cryptanalyst. Captain Rochefort's code-breaking operations were instrumental in the war against the Japanese, particularly in the Battle of Midway.
Roger Cirillo Roger Cirillo
Mason Lecture Series
Agony, Misery and Heartbreak: The Ground War in Italy, January – June 1944
Thursday, April 14, 2011
As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, Roger Cirillo describes the particularly challenging mountain warfare fought in Italy in World War II.
Dr. G. Wayne Clough Dr. G. Wayne Clough
The New Smithsonian: Global Impact, Local Access
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Dr. Clough discusses the strategic plan to bring together the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers through interdisciplinary programs, including efforts to digitize much of its 137 million objects and make them accessible online in order to benefit learners of all ages.
Deadly Medicine Panel Discussion Deadly Medicine Panel Discussion
Thursday, October 11, 2012
In conjunction with the special exhibit on display July 25 – October 15, 2012. Local and state medical leaders discuss the legacy left by the horrifying eugenic practices of Nazi Germany and what current medicine has learned from the past.
Carlo D'Este Carlo D'Este
Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874 – 1945
March 4, 2009
World-renowned historian and bestselling author of Decision in Normandy, Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life discusses his book Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874 – 1945.
Robert M. Edsel Robert M. Edsel
The Greatest Art Treasure Hunt and Rescue in History
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The author of The Monuments Men and Rescuing DaVinci tells the true story of Nazi thieves and the unlikely Allied heroes who saved the world’s greatest works of art.
Fighting for Democracy Panel Fighting for Democracy Panel
Fighting for Democracy: The Veterans’ Perspectives
February 7, 2009
In conjunction with the exhibition Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We the People”?, the Museum hosted a panel of veterans who experienced first-hand the fight for freedom abroad and equality at home.
Kevin Fontenot Kevin Fontenot
Over These Prison Walls I Would Fly: Country Music POWs During World War II
August 15, 2012
Kevin Fontenot discusses the war service and post war musical careers of three influential figures in country music. All three spent time as POWs held by the Germans in some of the harshest stalags. This talk will examine their wartime experience and their impact on country music following the war.
Col. Glenn Frazier Col. Glenn Frazier
Meet the Author: Glenn Frazier, Author of Hell's Guest
Monday, March 19, 2012
Frazier, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, talks about his experiences in the Pacific and on the March, which he recounts in his book Hell's Guest.
Lt. Bruce Gamble Lt. Bruce Gamble
Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific January 1942 – 1943
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Lt. Bruce Gamble discusses his book Fortress Rabaul describes the dramatic events that contributed to Rabaul’s increasing notoriety, detailing the island’s transformation into the ultimate 20th century fortification.
Dan Haulman Dan Haulman
The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939 – 1949
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Author Dan Haulman discusses his book The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, an exploration of the African American pilots who made American history.
Arthur Herman Dr. Arthur Herman
Mason Lecture Series
Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Arthur Herman discusses how two extraordinary American business men helped corral, cajole and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the "arsenal of democracy" that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II.
Rick Jacobs Rick Jacobs
Battle of the Java Sea
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Rick Jacobs discusses the Pacific naval Battle of the Java Sea and its disastrous results for the Allies.
Andrew Jameson Andrew Jameson
The Battle of the Bulge
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Andrew Jameson brings to life the battle between the Germans and American's in the Ardennes Forest on the German–Belgian border that lasted longer than a month and ended on January 25, 1945.
Jonathan W. Jordan Jonathan W. Jordan
Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Author Jonathan W. Jordan discusses his book about the relationships between the world's leaders during World War II.
Alex Kershaw Alex Kershaw
Liberators: Three Americans Who Helped Free Europe from Nazism
January 7, 2009
Historian and bestselling author of The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter and The Few, follows three Americans and their paths through Europe during World War II.
Senator George S. McGovern Senator George S. McGovern
Wars Past and Present
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Senator McGovern presents parallels between the Civil War, World War II and the world we live in today based on his own experiences as well as his book Abraham Lincoln.
Donald L. Miller Donald L. Miller
Does Bombing Work? The Lessons of Dresden
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Renowned World War II scholar Donald Miller discusses the results of the legendary bombing raid of the German city of Dresden by British and American air forces in mid February 1945.
Dr. Allan Millet Dr. Allan Millet
The Origins of the Forgotten War: Korea 1945 – 1950
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In a lecture based on The War for Korea: A House Burning (University Press of Kansas, 2005), one of his several books on the subject of Korea, Dr. Millet discusses how the Korean conflict began.
Dr. John Mosier Dr. John Mosier
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Pulitzer Prize–nominated author Dr. John Mosier discusses Deathride, a provocative revisionist analysis of the war between Hitler and Stalin. Dr. Mosier provides a dramatic narrative of events as he shows how most previous histories accepted Stalin’s lies and distortions to produce a false sense of Soviet triumph.
Jonathan Parshall Jonathan Parshall
Mason Lecture Series
Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, author Jonathan Parshall talks about his book Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway,
Col. B. Wayne Quist Col. B. Wayne Quist
God's Angry Man: The Incredible Journey of Private Joe Haan
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Author Col. B. Wayne Quist talks about his book God's Angry Man: The Incredible Journey of Private Joe Haan, the story of a remarkable young man who became a soldier and then a hero in the Battle of the Bulge.
Harley Reynolds Harley Reynolds
How I Survived Three First-Wave Invasions: North Africa, Sicily, Omaha Beach
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Assigned to "B" Company, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division upon enlistment in December 1940, Harley trained as a rifleman and ultimately was promoted to Staff Sergeant and commanded the light machine gun section. Each position he held was because the men ahead of him were either wounded or killed. What made him so lucky?
Dennis Showalter, Ph. D Dennis Showalter, Ph. D
Hitler’s Panzers: The Lightning Attacks That Revolutionized Warfare
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Renowned World War II scholar Dennis Showalter presents a comprehensive and unbiased study of Nazi Germany’s armored forces. By delving deeply into a detailed history of Germany’s technologically innovative approach to warfare, Showalter provides a look at the military lessons of the past, and a speculation on how the Panzer ethos may be implemented in the future of international conflict.
Symposium: The Lynching of Allied POWs in WWII Symposium
The Lynching of Allied POWs in WWII
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
On April 4, 2013, Günter Bischof, Director of Center Austria at the University of New Orleans, chaired a panel of academics at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans on the lynching of Allied Airmen behind enemy lines in WWII.
Lauren Tilton Lauren Tilton
Graduate Student, Yale University
Shifting Visions: FSA-OWI Photographs from the Great Depression to World War II
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
From 1935 to 1943, the government sponsored the largest federally funded photography project in history. This lecture will track how a New Deal agency came to produce over 170,000 photographs of the country as it mobilized for war.
V-E Day Panel V-E Day Panel
Where Were You on V-E Day?
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Panelists discuss their first-hand experiences of the bittersweet celebration of Victory in Europe on the 65th anniversary of V-E Day.
Gen. John W. 'Jack' Vessey Gen. John W. "Jack" Vessey
WWII in the Rear View Mirror of One Veteran
November 8, 2008
World War II veteran, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks about how the men he served with in World War II affected his decades-long career in the military.
John Wukovitz John Wukovitz
Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Author John Wukovitz discusses the heroic life of American fighter ace and USMC officer Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the subject of his book Black Sheep.
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